Steve Heisler

Teacher Author Speaker


"Every single child wants to be successful. The problem is, if they can't be successful at being successful, they'll be successful at screwing up. Our job as educators is to change the latter to the former."    

- from the The Missing Link by Steve Heisler

Love What You Do and You Will Love What You Do

Find what you love to do is often proffered as the key to a successful work life. So, all I need to do then is find something I love doing, then when I do that I will not only derive a living from it, but I will also live a happy life.

Piece of cake.

Throw in a weekend place in Malibu and life is perfect.

Except that it usually isn't!  Paul Simon even notes in one of his songs that it is only some people's lives that roll easy.

The real truth is few people actually get to do exactly what they 'love' especially in highly competitive areas. I personally know several folks whose early career desires (actors, artists, and athletes for instance) never came to fruition. Sometimes desire, even desire coupled with fierce and heroic dedication, just isn't enough.

Most everybody I know has made some kind of compromise against their perfect life-work vision in order to make a living and a life and there is nothing inherently unsuccessful in that.  No less a brainiac than Albert Einstein even warned not try to make a living doing something we love.

Of course there are folks there who have been able to live lives without compromise but as parents and teachers we need to be careful not to allow the desire for the 'iconic' to create constant dissatisfaction. There is something to be said for teaching and learning how to love what one has already. The old adage that if you are not getting what you want, start learning to be happy with what you have is applicable here.

Work related joy can be gotten in a lot of different ways however to get there one needs to be able to make a genuine distinction between the importance of having everything one wants and what is really important to have. Then learn to appreciate - a term used to assess incremental value but really means to find something or someone's true worth. 

Acceptance is not complacency, nor does it preclude one from continuing to search for paths of greater satisfaction and meaning. Finding what you love to do is a great option if it's available but one can also be successful by finding reasons to love what you already do and what you already have. In the beautiful film, Il Postino, the main character actually learns to love the very pace he hates not by leaving, but by learning to see exactly the same things in an entirely new way.

This is applicable in work, in friendship, in marriage, everywhere. When you keep finding reasons to love what you do and what you have and who you love, you'll always get to love what you do, what you have and who you love.